Heading into the draft I like to interview an expert for each team to get a feel of what the teams might do in the draft and also to give you guys a better look into a team you might not be entirely familiar with. Recently, I chatted with Brian Miller of the excellent Dolphins web-site Phinphanatic.
Here’s what Miller had to say about what the Dolphins could do in the NFL draft.
1). After free agency what are the Dolphins needs?
The Dolphins actually created more holes than what they filled in free agency. They did not address the right side of the line aside from adding depth with former Cleveland Brown Artis Hicks. They traded Brandon Marshall, leaving a hole at WR and still have not added a pass rushing LB. They did however create another hole by releasing safety Yeremiah Bell but added a back-up corner back.
2). Jeff Ireland as been the G.M. for a few years now. Is their any kind of pattern that has emerged in the draft for Irleand?
The only real pattern is that Ireland has traded at least one time in the first four rounds every year since he has been in charge of the draft. Outside of that, there hasn’t been a rule of thumb provided and this year will be no different.
3). Are there some young players on the roster the Dolphins might expect to step up and fill in the needs (from Question 1)?
Hard to really say. Marshall shouldn’t be hard to replace because the west coast offense really isn’t his style. The right side of the line could still be addressed with John Jerry and/or Lydon Murtha but neither have either stayed healthy or proven they can handle the load as a starter every week. The team does not have a high motor pass rusher opposite Cameron Wake and it’s questionable that Koa Misi can assume that role.
4). They say the third year is usually the breakout year for players, any players from the 2010 class you could expect to break out next?
Not at this point. The Dolphins have failed to draft any real weapons at least offensively. Jared Odrick on the defensive line really came on strong last year and is expected to continue to get better but the shift from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3 may set him back slightly. Koa Misi is the guy that many fans will have to watch. I don’t expect him to break out by any means but as of right now, he is the guy holding up the LB spot on the outside, although they will try and work him into the middle a bit.
5). Thoughts on the Brandon Marshall trade?
I liked the trade. Marshall was a volcano waiting to erupt. The guy has not been a participant for either of his two seasons off-season programs (last years player only workouts) due to off-field issues. He is a distraction and his ego doesn’t equate to success. Marshall is a great WR but he tends to lack concentration at times and thus drops passes he should catch. In addition, his antics now removed, the team can start opening up the offense to the best option and not simply to appease the better player.
6). Are there any players the Dolphins have seem to take a linking too?
Miami plays things very close to the hip and to be honest, if they were saying they loved one guy, I would bet it would be a lie. Jeff Ireland doesn’t tell anyone his plans or the players he values so really it’s nothing more than speculation. I can honestly say I have no idea who they are really targeting in the draft.
7). Is there a player that the fans want the most at #8?
Fans really want to see the Dolphins draft Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill but I’m not sure if that is because he is the best option or their desire to finally have a 1st round QB lead the team. Outside of Tannehill, most fans are relatively skeptical.
8). anything else to add?
This draft is presenting itself with a lot of drama for the team. There is a feeling that the Dolphins will pass on Tannehill and draft an overrated guy like Quinton Coples who according to reports is lazy at times. Last year fans were not surprised by the Mike Pouncey pick at 16 but were with the Daniel Thomas over Ryan Mallett pick in round 2. This year I suspect that many fans are going to be disappointed by what happens at least on the surface. There simply are too many needs and not enough picks.
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